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Lot # 1174 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1888 History of Baseball: Sphere and Ash by Jacob Morse

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $10,665.00

History of Baseball: Sphere and Ash by Jacob Morse. First edition, published by J. F. Spoffard & Co., Herald Building, Boston 1888. One of the great rarities of early baseball publications, this book was long thought to be found only in research libraries or other public institutions. This copy miraculously surfaced in 1998 when the personal library of legendary football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg became available. The 64-page soft-cover book was written by Boston sportswriter Jacob Morse (who also managed the Boston club in 1884) and is a history of the game's early years. The book features engraved woodcut illustrations of twenty-one of the most prominent players of the time, including Anson, Welch, Kelly, G. Wright, Brouthers, and Ward. The final sixteen pages of the publication consist of advertisements for various products. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only copy in private hands, and appears (the signature is very faint) to have been signed by Stagg in pencil along the top border of the cover. There is some light chipping to both the front and back covers and a small written notation on the reverse in pen. As was Stagg's custom with his books, black tape has been applied to the spine (which overlaps on the front and back covers) and the title of the book has been neatly written in white on this tape for easy library shelf reference. Two vertical tears on the cover run along the tape line. The spine is tight and the pages are clean. Very Good condition overall. The book (5 x 7.5 inches) is housed in a custom-made folding solander case for optimal display and preservation. A Camden reprint of the book is included for everyday reading. This book was originally offered at public auction by Sloate & Smolin in September 1998, where it sold for $9,414. Two years later our consignor purchased it at public auction for $5,606. It has remained in his possession since that time. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $10,665.00

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